As a photographer, I found Tracy Aviary to offer some pretty decent photo-taking opportunities. Many of the birds are loose — walking, hopping, flying around — and you can get really close to them. Not much in the way of chicken wire, mesh, or chain-link fence comes between the camera lens and the feathers. A lot of the fences were only three feet tall, so it was easy to shoot over them.
Best Photography Opportunities
The best opportunities for me were most notably the eagles. Next would be the flamingos, pelicans, swans, pigeons, and peacocks. Humming birds were flying all over the place, but they were a challenge to photograph as they are always on the move. I also found a great big spider.
During my visit, an aviary groundskeeper was trimming the grass in the golden eagles pen. So the birds came within five feet of the walkway to avoid the groundskeeper and I was able to get some really nice close-up shots. Several of my pictures made the birds appear as though they could have easily been out in the wild, which is what I was after.
The bald eagles proved to be a little more difficult as they had their backs turned to me at first. But I was patient and waited for a candid moment.
The pelicans were in a large area but were active and playful, moving around a lot. So with a little patience, I was able to get a few decent pictures.
The swans and pigeons were in the same area. The pigeons were perching on a man-made, rock island / cliff. I saw a hen who was sitting on some eggs. There was food you could buy to feed them, but I didn’t buy anything. I didn’t have a quarter on me. Next time I will bring some spare change. The pigeons were beautiful and unusual in appearance. I’m not sure what variety they were. But it would have been nice to be able to feed them and have them come right up to you.
The flamingos were in a group, busily preening their feathers. My biggest complaint about the flamingos was the bright-green water they were standing in. It was almost disgusting, but that can be fixed in Photoshop.
Unfortunately, I didn’t run into any male peacocks during my visit — only hens and juveniles running loose on the grounds. As I approached one of the hens to take it’s picture, two kids chased the bird away. Otherwise, I could have gotten some great shots.
And I didn’t even attempt to take pictures of the birds that appeared to be in cages or behind thick bars, although I suppose I could have at least tried.
By the way, Tracy Aviary is located in Liberty Park, an 80-acre, public park in Salt Lake, City Utah. The park features a pond with more birds. I saw Canadian geese, a black-crowned night heron, and a big, dark and slender bird that I wasn’t able to identify. As luck would have it, there happened to be a classic car show in the park the day of my visit, so I was able to see some pretty nice automobiles, as well.
So yes, there are a lot of great photography opportunities at Tracy Aviary. In most cases you are not having to look up or look down too much at the birds. You’re looking at them eye to eye, and there is no glass to deal with as can be found in many zoos.